Bang & Olufsen announces affordable BeoPlay TV, wallets still tremble in fear

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay V1 FrontIf there’s one thing you don’t always associate with Bang & Olufsen, it’s affordable products. Fantastic, futuristic designs, yes, and in many cases superb audio performance too, but very rarely would you consider the Danish brand’s range of audio and video products unless you had an impressively bulging wallet.

However, with the introduction of a new range of televisions, Bang & Olufsen want this to change. Speaking at the launch, CEO Tue Mantoni said the new BeoPlay V1 television is purposely designed to be affordable. We’ll have to be the judge of that one, Mr. Mantoni.

The BeoPlay V1’s design certainly has a whiff of Apple about it, resplendent in white with a very minimalist approach to the casing, yet it’s very versatile, offering four different ways of mounting it in your home.

There’s the traditional wall mount, but a built-in stand lets you position it on the floor either at an angle, or slightly raised and flat towards you too. Finally, the TV can be hung from the ceiling on adjustable cables like a picture.

You’ll need to be confident in your home’s solidity if you’re going down this road, as the 32-inch version weighs 18kg and the 40-inch version, 26kg.

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay V1Bargain of the decade

The screen is an edge-lit, full HD, LED panel with a typical contrast ratio of 4000:1 and a response time of 8 milliseconds, while around the back you’ll find a very generous 5 HDMI ports and a USB socket too. Other features include Wi-Fi and DLNA media streaming, plus there’s even a handy slot designed to take an Apple TV box.

Below the screen sits a sound bar, where on the 32-inch V1 you’ll find a pair of powered 2.5-inch drivers, but on the 40-inch model there are two 2-inch speakers, a 4-inch subwoofer and three amplifiers to power them.

If you’re thinking that none of this sounds very “budget,” you’d be right, but bearing in mind this isn’t a 3D TV, the price may still be reasonable. The 32-inch BeoPlay V1 is priced at 2,399 Euros, while the 40-inch model comes in at 2,899 Euros, which is $3,150 and $3,810 respectively.

Compared to high-street brands like Sony and Samsung, this really can’t be classed as affordable, but put next to its fellow Bang & Olufsen TVs it’s the bargain of the decade, as the next model up, the 40-inch BeoVision LCD, costs at least $12,000.

The BeoPlay V1 will go on sale this week in Europe.